Fun ideas to turn a rooftop into a garden

July 29, 2015

If you live in a small space, or just don't have much outdoor space, gardening can be a challenge. You might consider a rooftop garden. Once established, a rooftop garden can be extremely productive because of the often unlimited access to sunlight.

Fun ideas to turn a rooftop into a garden

The basics

  • Before setting up a rooftop garden, check that you have permission to do so.
  • Also make sure that the roof is properly fenced and structurally able to carry the weight of a garden.
  • Good drainage for water run-off is also essential.


How to make it work

  • Plastic pots, self-watering pots and wooden or concrete troughs maintain moisture efficiently.
  • Mulch the surface of the potting soil, perhaps with sphagnum moss or some other moisture-holding organic material, to help reduce drying out in the summer sun.
  • Daily or twice-daily watering in summer is essential. A drip watering system connected to an automatic timer will produce the best results for the least effort.
  • Shade cloth would offer some protection and create favourable growing conditions. This will be necessary in midsummer to prevent tomatoes from scorching, for example.
  • A trellis can also be erected for growing climbing beans, peas and cucumbers, but be certain that the structure is firmly anchored to prevent it from blowing away in strong winds.

Threats to success

Here is what you need to look out for when it comes to rooftop gardening:

  • Heat and wind exposure are the main threats to successful rooftop gardening, especially during summer.
  • Intense sunlight can quickly dry out pots, particularly porous containers such as terracotta.

Setting up a rooftop garden allows you to have an oasis in the city and can be a great source of fresh vegetables and herbs.

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